On a sunny Autumn morning, St Margaret’s Old Girl and New Zealand White Fern, Amy Satterthwaite, took time out of her busy schedule to inspire some of our young cricketers, and she should know what it takes!
Amy started playing first class cricket, for the Canterbury Magicians, while she was still at school, aged just 16. Her highly acclaimed career has featured many highlights, she is the first women’s One Day cricketer to score four consecutive hundreds. And in December 2017 became the first recipient of the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year award. We were lucky enough to catch up with her for a quick chat.
What is your favourite memory of SMC?
For me it was arriving at the boarding house, I came from a little country town so coming to St Margaret’s and finding the opportunities that were available to me here was a real eye opener. When you grow up in the country the subjects you can take and the sports you can play are limited in comparison.
As a SMC Old Girl you would have noticed quite a few changes to the school?
I do, a lot has changed. A lot of new buildings and I’ve heard lots of stories about the changes so I’m excited to have a look around. The school has done an amazing job rebuilding and think it’s very exciting they’ve been able to transform it to what is today for the new girls coming through as well as honouring the past for us Old Girls.
Where are you based now?
Based in Christchurch but we go around the country or the world for different tours which manages to take up most of the year. I play in the Women’s Big Bash in Australia, the Kea Super League in England which is the equivalent of the Big Bash, and the rest of the time in our domestic competition in NZ. As well as any international tours after that. Lots of travel!
Family and friends are all in Christchurch, I own a house here so any (minimal) downtime is spent back here recharging and catching up with people.
You’ve played cricket at a first-class since you were 16. What would be the one piece of advice you would give to a young cricketer wanting to do the same?
Really enjoy what you are doing and have a good balance in your life. If you don’t get it right, especially moving into professional cricket, you can get absorbed into one thing and it can make it pretty hard work and a little bit draining at times. Ensuring a real balance between family and friends, so when you’re training and playing you’re putting 110% into it, but you’re able to get away to ensure that you’re fresh to put that effort in.
Who was your cricket hero as a young player?
I’ve had a few different ones but Stephen Fleming was certainly one at a young age, he was a left hander like me and he was someone I looked up to and aspired to be. The beauty of the way the game is now I think a lot of young girls have female players they can look up. We’re out in the media a bit more so we are accessible to young girls. Hopefully we’re inspiring a lot of the girls to get into the game.
Did you have mentor when you started playing?
Probably my father, he was the one I looked up to a lot and used to discuss and review things. He had a lot of knowledge of the game so when you change teams and change coaches he was the consistent person who was always there.
Aside from cricket who are your other sporting heroes.
There’s so many of them which is the beauty of being a Kiwi and something I’m really proud of. We’ve got a lot of athletes who are remarkable. Lisa Carrington is inspiring and you can see she’s meticulous in how she goes about things and her performances are exceptional. Then there’s the Evers-Swindell twins in rowing, Richie McCaw I could go on. It makes you proud to be a Kiwi and it’s really exciting to be part of that history.
You played in the Women’s Big Bash League this season, what was the highlight for you?
The opportunity to play in a series that brings the best players from around the world together, often in cricket you’re playing the best countries and the best players but you’re playing against them. The WBBL means you can play alongside some of those international players and learn from them, see how they go about their training methods. Of course, you’re playing against some of them in the other teams too but it’s a different dynamic to playing international cricket. It’s broken down a lot of the barriers as well. International cricket is really competitive and you don’t really get to know the players from the opposition that much but this lets you get to know them as people as well as incredibly competitive sports people.
What does the future hold?
I think while I’m still enjoying the game I want to keep playing. I still have things I want to achieve so it motivates me to keep improving and keep playing the game. I think if I lose that enjoyment that’s when I’ll start to question if I want to continue. It’s just taking each season as it comes. There’s a World Cup in 2021 in NZ so that would be an awesome experience to play in at home. I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself there’s a lot of cricket to happen between now and then so we’ll just see how I get on.